Pasco Fearon on “Reconsidering attachment theory in the light of meta-analytic findings”
London Neuropsychoanalysis Group
Abstract: Attachment theory makes a number of important predictions about development that have been subjected to extensive empirical investigation. After many years of research, it is timely to consider the extent to which the data have really supported the fundamental precepts of attachment theory. In this talk I will focus on two central predictions: first, that early security of attachment is associated with, and indeed causes, differences in children’s later social, emotional and behavioural development and risk for psychopathology, and 2) that adult working models, or representations, of attachment influence the development of the child-parent attachment, and hence that patterns of attachment are transmitted across generations. The results of a series of meta-analyses broadly support the position adopted by attachment researchers, but also challenge an overly simplistic view of the significance of attachment processes in human development.
Bio: Pasco Fearon is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at University College London, and joint Director of UCL’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Programme. He is the current President of the Society for Emotion and Attachment Studies, and Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. His research focuses on the social, psychological and biological mechanisms involved in child development and in risk for psychopathology.